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Avery, Howard S. (Howard Shaeffer), 1906-1996



  • Existence: 1906 - 1996

Biographical Note

Howard S. Avery was born in Canon City, Colorado in 1906. His family moved to Virginia when he was eleven, and he attended high school in Roanoke and college in Blacksburg. He received a B.S. in Mining & Engineering in 1927 and an Engineer of Mines degree with honors in 1928, both from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Avery was very active during his student days at VPI. He was a member of the track team, the rifle club, the radio club, and the boxing club. In 1927 he served as the photographic editor of the Bugle yearbook. He was married in 1935 to Louise Steele and had four children.

Following several years of mining engineering and geology work in Mexico, steel mill experience, and teaching, he joined the newly organized Metallurgical Department of the American Brake Shoe Company, now the Abex Corporation, located in Mahwah, New Jersey in 1934. He is identified with this company's research in various aspects of industrial wear. As a research metallurgist his duties involved planning and supervising research and development of alloys to resist heat, abrasion and impact. He became internationally known in the field of metallurgy, conducting pioneering work in the areas of precise creep-rupture testing, thermal fatigue evaluation, and carburizing behavior. Two of his technical papers garnered Lincoln Gold Medal awards, and he received the first Award of the New York Chapter of the American Society of Metals. He also contributed to several engineering handbooks, was issued a number of patents, and is the author of several dozen technical papers. His career at the Abex Corporation lasted until 1971.

Professional affiliations outside the Abex Corporation include the American Welding Society, The American Society for Metals, the Metal Science Club, The American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, The American Society for Quality Control, and the British Iron and Steel Institute. Avery also had a wide range of outside interests and participated in activities that included training Boy Scout leaders, supervision of a junior rifle club, operating an amateur radio station W2HBH, and service on the Mahwah, New Jersey Board of Education and as a Civil Defense Director. Howard Avery passed away in August 1996 in Roanoke, VA.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Avery-Abex Metallurgical Collection

Identifier: Ms-1995-025
Abstract The American Brake Shoe (later Abex) Company was formed in 1902 from the merger of five smaller foundries that specialized in railroad brake shoes, castings and forging, as well as hydraulic equipment. The research laboratory, known as the Mahwah Research Center, from which the collection is drawn, did applied industrial research, but was closed in 1990. Howard Avery (1906-1996), VPI graduate (B.Sc. MinE 1927, M.Sc. MinE 1928), was one of the center’s leading research metallurgists....
Dates: c. 1920s-1987

Howard S. Avery Papers

Identifier: Ms-1997-026
Abstract Howard S. Avery graduated from Virginia Tech in 1927 with a B.S. in Mining and Engineering. He worked for the American Brake Shoe Company, later known as the Abex Corporation, as a research metallurgist from 1935 to 1971. The collection consists of Avery's personal papers and photographs related to his student days at Virginia Tech, including photos taken mainly in 1927 while Avery was the photographic editor of the Bugle yearbook. This collection also includes personal papers,...
Dates: 1913 - 1996